Fitting together reading

Approaching your reading so that everything that you are reading and studying fits together helps you to focus on your ideas, and both to synthesize and elaborate them. To help you with what we call 'fitting together' reading, try to answer the following questions as you both read and take notes for your reading:

• How does this material relate to what I already know about the subject?

• How does this material relate to other sources on the same subject?

• What related arguments or theories does this reading make me think of?

• How could I use what I am reading in my assignment?

• How could I use this in conjunction with the ideas that I already have on this subject?

• What do I need to add to use this reading constructively in my assignment?

• What do I need to leave out to use this material constructively in my assignment?

You may find it useful to look back to Chapter 4, to the section on 'Analysing the assignment', to see how you might set about answering some of these questions. In fact, analysing the assignment title and 'fitting together' reading are interrelated ways of approaching written assignments. As you read and take notes for your assignment you are working through your analysis of the title and taking from your reading the most appropriate material for your own work.

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